by Marianne Evans
The genealogy of my faith life begins, like most people, at the feet of my mom and dad. They raised me to embrace my faith, but make it an individual, personal matter. They didn’t spoon-feed me doctrine or theology. Instead, they led by example, showing me integrity, heart, service and love in all that they do. Nothing was forced on me; I was expected to decide upon and embrace spiritual matters on my own.
When I married, my husband became an integral part of my genealogy of faith. I’ve spent considerable time over the last few months re-reading precious letters and cards we’ve exchanged over the years, and from the very beginning, when we were dating and freshly landed in that romantic world of falling in love, one thing stood firm in our relationship. God. Trust in His plan and provision. Even in the darkest of times, we learned to lean on that faith and trust Him.
When I married Steve, I married into the most remarkable and wonderful family. I’m the baby of my family, and the only girl, so I was both thrilled and intimidated by the prospect of gaining a sister-in-law. Mary is the lone sister in Steve’s family, the middle-child in a family that claims six brothers. She’s my mentor, one of my very best friends. Long ago, we attended a Christian retreat in the stunning mountains of Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Our sister-in-law, Kathy accompanied, and from that moment on, we became sisters in the truest sense of the word, bound by passionate ministries (Kathy and her husband John are missionaries to Honduras, Mary conducts Spirit-led programs that feature Scripture, music and her gifts as an artist).
From there, the story continues. Steve and I have done our best to follow God’s lead when it comes to sharing that legacy with our children. Like our parents before us, and those we’ve enjoined during the course of our lives, we trust God. We preach with words (I’m a writer, after all – LOL!), but most often we try to preach with our lives and how we live out our faith and convictions. We know He has them in the palm of His hand, even when we question and doubt and watch them go through their own battles and anxieties.
We’re born with a fundamental and life-long need for God, but we need to be guided along that pathway by those who have walked it before us. I’m grateful for the way that truth has come to life for me as I move from one season of my life to the next. Who are your spiritual mentors? Who has guided you along the way toward embracing a life governed by faith? Take a moment to consider their impact.
And thank them.
Marianne Evans is an award-winning author of faith-affirming fiction who has won acclaim from critics and readers. RT Book Reviews named her book Forgiveness a 4.5-Star Top Pick and readers laude her books as ‘riveting’ and ‘true to heart.’ She’s a life-long resident of Michigan who calls suburban Detroit home.